Expectations: Inspiration or Burden?
It stars when we are young. We do well in exams and our parents and teachers become so proud of us. They want us to do even better in the next exam. If we do better in the next exam, they want us to be the best. By the time we grow up, they expect nothing less than great things, extraordinary things from us. And it grows on to us. We want to fulfill what everybody is expecting from us. We want to fulfill what is expected from us. The sky becomes the limit. And even if we manage to reach sky high, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. And the cycle continues. We expect great things from our children- things that have never been done before-things that we couldn’t have done in our lives.
Expectation is a good thing. It pushes you to achieve excellence you would never have achieved in absence of expectation. It makes you try your butts off. But at the same time expectation can be a bit too much to handle. Everyone in this world has some limitations. Everyone can’t excel all the time. I mean what if Don Bradman’s parents expected him to be brilliant like Einstein or vice versa? What if they tried to become great in something which isn’t their specialty?
Sometimes expectation makes your world crumble. Just the constant pressure to be the best alone gets hold of the good in you. It blocks your thinking and stops you from being the wonderful and successful person you can be. The worst part is that it’s not just the friends and family or your boss that expect you to be the best- it’s you. You expect yourself to be the best. So the blame game doesn’t work and it sucks. Expectation becomes a heavy burden on your shoulders which you can rarely carry. Even if you can carry it- it’s too heavy for you to reach the sky with it.
You can’t excel without expectation, without the drive to be better and you can’t excel if expectation pressurizes you to carry on a path which you are not meant to take. So what we are looking at is basically a balancing act. Cut yourself some slack. Shake off the expectations when it becomes a burden. The world won’t end if you are not the best in your field. Being the best would be great but being the best you can be is not bad either. Try and understand your limitations. Perhaps what is expected from you isn’t your strength. Perhaps your glory lies in being a wonderful person who might not be the best in professional life but undoubtedly is the best father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter and friend. Being the best you is pretty darn good if you ask me. And that is what we should expect from anyone- not the best in the field or world- just be the best you.